Prison Violence: Black vs. Brown

If you want to see the future of the United States, look to California. (And if you want to look at the future of California, look to Los Angeles.) The racial dynamics fully formed in CA are, given demographic trajectories, spreading to the rest of the nation.

Are California Prisons Punishing Inmates Based on Race?” is a good snapshot of liberal establishment cognitive dissonance when trying to make sense of the realities of racial identity (and the subsequent pragmatic decisions prison officials make, based on social reality, to minimize prison violence.)

In several men’s prisons across California, colored signs hang above cell doors: blue for black inmates, white for white, red, green or pink for Hispanic, yellow for everyone else.

Though it’s not an official policy, at least five California state prisons have a color-coding system…

Prison officials have said such moves can be necessary in a system plagued by some of the worst race-based gang violence in the country. Just last week, at least four inmates were taken to the hospital after a fight broke out between over 60 black and Hispanic inmates in a Los Angeles jail.

But, wait. Blacks vs. Hispanics fighting amongst themselves? With white racism not a factor? I thought that, once whites are out of the way, diversity and multiculturalism makes everyone want to hold hands? (To see extensive discussion of black vs. brown racial antagonism in both prisons and schools, see Jared Taylor’s outstanding book White Identity.)

The labels “provide visual cues that allow prison officials to prevent race-based victimization, reduce race-based violence, and prevent thefts and assaults,” wrote the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, in response to a lawsuit.

But legal advocates say such practices are deeply problematic. “I haven’t seen anything like it since the days of segregation, when you had colored drinking fountains,” said Rebekah Evenson, an attorney with the nonprofit Prison Law Office.

Not surprisingly, Hispanic (aka Mexican) racial solidarity is the biggest factor:

A recent review of corrections department reports, done for the Prison Law Office, suggests it’s still common practice. The analysis found that nearly half the 1,445 security-based lockdowns between January 2010 and November 2012 affected specific racial or ethnic groups. Inmates labeled as Hispanic were the most common targets, while inmates identified as “other,” (anyone not labeled black, white or Hispanic) were the least likely to be restricted.

This entry was posted in Mexico, Race. Bookmark the permalink.